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Robert Simpson

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Robert Simpson
Aliases: none
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1805
Occupation: Porter
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 55 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Antrim Court (Ireland)
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: -
Departure date:
Arrival date*: -
Place of arrival -
Passenger manifest -
* Arrival date is estimated


Primary source: Belfast Newsletter, Tuesday 25 March 1823 page 4 NSW State Records - Convict ship Indents / Musters 1822 and 1825 / 1828 Census / Col Sec incoming Correspondence,/ Certificates of Freedom.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Robin Sharkey on 9th November, 2015 wrote:

Robert Simpson was aged 18 when convicted at Antrim and sentenced to seven years transportation to NSW, arriving 1824 on “Castle Forbes’.  He was blind in his left eye. Being young when first assigned at Windsor, he had not learned to hold his tongue, and had a taste of the NSW lash at least by the time he was 21, with 50 lashes and then another 25 two months later from the same employer. By 1828 he was with the Mahoney brothers at Pitt Town, more humane masters.

Belfast Newsletter, Tuesday 25 March 1823 page 4
County of Antrim Assizes

“Robert Simpson, Charles Feris and John Kirkwood for breaking into the stores of Messrs Crawford and Wallace of Belfast and stealing a quantity of tea and two slip-coats.” They were said to be “though young .. all confirmed thieves”. Of his co-accused - Charles Feris was 19 and a shoemaker and Kirkland was 22 and a butcher and both were transported on the Castle Forbes with Simpson.

At the trial, the proprietor John Wallace said the store was broken open in December 1822 and three parcels of tea gone, as well as two slip coats. A 12 year old boy called Thomas Morrison gave evidence as an approver -he was now giving evidence for the Crown against the others involved. This boy had also been involved in a break-in at Mr Hagan’s stores and, at the previous assizes, had given evidence as an approver against the other boys involved, one being the same Robert Simpson as charged here.

The young boy Morrison,with Simpson and Feris, got under the gate and got into the office. They handed the goods to Kirkwood who remained outside the gate. The others let themselves out by the gate and went to the barracks where they handed the goods over to another boy who was to sell it for them. The young approver got five ten pennies for his share.

GUILTY - to be transported for seven years.
15 Jan 1824 - Arrived NSW per Castle Forbes 2

* Robert Simpson, Age: 18, Born: Belfast Porter,
* Height: 5/5, Complexion: Sallow freckled, Hair: Brown, Eyes: Brown - lost left [eye], * Convicted: Lent Assizes 1823 Antrim

* On list of convicts landed from the “Castle Forbes” & forwarded to Windsor for distribution.
* 1825 Muster - Govt Servant, Wilberforce to Richard Ridge
*Getting the Lash
Richard Ridge, a farmer at Portland Head (near Wilberforce) in the colony originally in 1791 as a convict, appears a hard employer. On 22 July 1826, Robert Simpson was before the Windsor Bench, having been “ charged by his said master with having used threats, tending to disturb the peace and quiet of deponent, and of having uttered obscene language in the presence of the   children ; the prisoner said, if I was once free I would serve you out, or words to that effect ; Mr. Ridge anticipated the infliction of divers [i.e. diverse] blows and bruises, at no far distant day ; the obscenity is best in modest silence ; sentenced 50 lashes.” (Sydney Gazette, 2/8/1826, p 3).
50 Lashes!
*Two months later Ridge charged Robert Simpson again, this time with being insubordinate, and he got another 25 lashes:

Sydney Gazette Saturday 28 October 1826 page 3:
“Robert Simpson, was charged by his master that he is lazy and insubordinate, and that he had said his master had taken a false oath. A constable was called, who proved that the ground where the prisoner worked, was very difficult to break up, but that part of the charge about the false swearing remained as given before the Court.  The stubborn or foolish fellow pleaded, that his master would say any thing sooner than be overcome by a Government servant. Sentenced, for insubordinate conduct, 25 lashes.”

Simpson got transferred to the kindlier Irish Mahony brothers, at Pitt Town:
* 1828 Muster - Robert Simpson, Age: 25, Protestant,, Govt Servant; Labourer; Householder: Michael Mahoney: Pitt Town [NSW AUS]. There were two other 25/26 year old Irish Protestant servants there as well.

[Michael Mahoney was a Catholic ex-convict from Waterford on a ticket of Leave , living with his two brothers Patrick and John both also TL, who had been transported under the Whiteboy Act for unlawfully assembling and appearing in arms, and Michael also for administering unlawful oaths, they had bought their own land, 90 acres in 1828).

* Certificate of Freedom 30/319 dated 20 May 1830
All information detail as above reported PLUS: born 1806 and “Blind of the Left eye”

After this he is hard to distinguish from the many other Robert Simpsons.

Convict Changes History

Robin Sharkey on 9th November, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Belfast Newsletter, Tuesday 25 March 1823 page 4 NSW State Records - Convict ship Indents / Musters 1822 and 1825 / 1828 Census / Col Sec incoming Correspondence,/ Certificates of Freedom. (prev. ), firstname:

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